Next level Margherita pizza

A pizza sitting on top of a pan on a table Pizza Recipes

Preparation and cooking time

  • Prep:1 hr
  • Cook:40 mins
  • Plus at least 5 hrs resting
  • More effort
  • Makes 4 pizzas

Forget takeaways – you can’t beat a homemade Margherita pizza topped with fresh tomato sauce and melted cheese. Here’s how to master this everyday classic…

Nutrient Unit
kcal 693
fat 18g
saturates 10g
carbs 98g
sugars 4g
fibre 5g
protein 31g
salt 4.5g

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 500g ‘00’ or strong white flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 1 sachet (7g) fast-action dried yeast

For the sauce

  • 400g can plum tomatoes (San Marzano are the best)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , plus extra to serve
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
  • small bunch basil , leaves picked, stalks reserved

For the toppings

  • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), freshly grated
  • 200g mozzarella from a block, cut into chunks

Method

  • STEP 1

First, make the dough. Tip the flour into a bowl and add 300ml tepid water. Mix together and set aside at room temperature for 1 hr. Dissolve the yeast in 2 tbsp water and mix this and 15g of salt through the dough. Cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm to double in size for a few hours. For a sourer flavour, leave in the fridge for at least 8 hrs and up to 24 hrs – the longer you leave it the sourer it will be.

  • STEP 2

When the dough is ready, tip it onto a lightly floured surface and divide into four. Roll into balls and leave to rest, covered with a tea towel or cling film for another hour.

  • STEP 3

Now make the tomato sauce. Drain some of the juice from the can and tip the rest into a bowl with the olive oil, oregano and a generous pinch of salt, then either scrunch everything together with your fingers for a chunky sauce or blitz with a stick blender if you want it smooth. Tie the basil stalks together, bruise with the back of a knife and place in the sauce. Leave the sauce at room temperature until needed.

  • STEP 4

To make the pizza, heat a grill to its highest setting and get a heavy frying pan. On a floured surface push and stretch one of the balls of dough out into a circle roughly the same size as the frying pan. Slip the round onto a floured baking sheet and top with a quarter of the sauce, a scattering of cheese, a few basil leaves and a quarter of the mozzarella.

  • STEP 5

Get the pan very hot and carefully slide the pizza onto it. Cook for 2 mins, then put the pan under the grill for another 2 mins until the sides are puffed up and the cheese has melted. Lift onto a board, drizzle with a little olive oil if you like, then cut into wedges and serve while you make the next one.

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